Developing canonical ‘safe researcher’ training materials for trusted research environments


  • Deborah Wiltshire GESIS



Safe researcher training, canonical training materials, sensitive data, Trusted Research Environments


Social science and humanities research infrastructures allow the sharing and safe use of confidential, sensitive data for research via physical safe havens. In recent years there has been a shift towards virtual data enclaves or Remote Desktop systems that offer fewer physical controls. These controls need to be replaced with other safeguards, including mandatory ‘Safe Researcher’ training. This training aims to ensure that researchers are equipped with the knowledge required to use secure data safely. Developing training is resource intensive so canonical training materials are an economical approach to providing standardized, high-quality training.

The Social Sciences and Humanities Open Cloud project deliverable ‘Training materials of workshop for secure data facility professionals ́ had two objectives. The first was the development of a set of canonical training materials that Trusted Research Environments (TREs) could use as a framework on which to build their own training course. The second objective was to hold a virtual workshop where the training materials could be demonstrated to a credible audience to gather feedback to inform the future development of the materials.

We have now developed the canonical materials, building on the wealth of expertise and experience of UK-based TREs. These training materials were then demonstrated at a virtual, two-hour Stakeholder Workshop that we organized in September 2021. Following our demonstration of the materials, we facilitated small group discussions to gather vital feedback. The discussion groups formed a consensus that the materials were both comprehensive and clearly structured and would be a valuable resource to the TRE community.


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How to Cite

Wiltshire, D. (2024). Developing canonical ‘safe researcher’ training materials for trusted research environments. IASSIST Quarterly, 48(1).